Toward a Community Impact Assessment for Food Policy Councils: Identifying Potential Impact Domains
Keywords:Food Policy Council, Food System, Food Policy, Equity, Nutrition, Sustainability, Economic Development, Local Agriculture, Natural Resources, Collaboration
Food policy councils (FPCs) are collaboratives that work to strengthen food systems. Over 300 FPCs exist in the United States, Canada, and Tribal Nations. In 2015, we surveyed the types of initiatives FPCs undertook and identified food sector targets and domains of potential impact in an effort to inform comprehensive FPC impact assessments. FPCs (N=66) reported 317 policy, systems, and environmental initiatives. At least half of these were focused on food production, and many were focused on institutional food service and the food assistance sectors. Commercial food service, food processing, and food waste were less often the focus. Potential impacts of their initiatives were classified into six domains: supporting resilient food systems (235, 74%); increasing access to healthy foods (171, 54%); supporting economic development (115, 36%); promoting equity in the food system (94, 30%); promoting environmental sustainability (82, 26%); and increasing knowledge of or demand for healthy foods (27, 9%). Many initiatives were likely to impact multiple domains.
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